Malaysia Airlines this week resumed flights between Kuala Lumpur and Surabaya after suspending the service in 2012, buoying hopes of a return in Malaysian demand for golf trips to the East Java capital.
On a recent sales mission to Kuala Lumpur with a delegation of hoteliers, golf course operators and attractions, Monas Tour Surabaya’s managing director Monas Tjahjono said that they received “many enquiries” for golfing trips to Surabaya, which saw a decline since the service was suspended in 2012″.
He said that while there are other flights by AirAsia and Lion Air, golfers prefer the legacy airlines. “They like to have all their baggage and golf equipment inclusive in the ticket price, while LCCS charge for it,” he explained.
Erly Rizka, director of sales and marketing of Java Paragon Hotel & Residence Surabaya, said: “The feedback was excellent. As our property is close to the golf course, the segment has been our market, and we trust that it will grow with the new flights.”
She added that Surabaya is also gaining popularity with shopping at Pasar Turi, the city’s famous wholesale market, popular with women travellers and families.
“Travellers have discovered that we also have a wholesale market in Surabaya. They used to only know (of the ones) in Bandung,” she said.
In conjunction with the reopening of the route, last week Malaysia Airlines organised a travel fair with local travel companies in Surabaya, and is bringing travel professionals on a fam trip to Surabaya this week.
Malaysia Airlines’ CEO, Peter Bellew, commented: “As the second largest city of Indonesia, Surabaya is rich with cultural and historical sites. Malaysia Airlines currently flies to three Indonesian routes from Kuala Lumpur to Bali, Jakarta and Medan. With Surabaya added into our network, customers will be able to explore the tourist attractions in both eastern Java and Malaysia.”
The four-times weekly service will be operated by the airline’s Boeing 738-800 aircraft with a capacity of 160 seats in three classes.